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International Baccalaureate (IB) 11th grader Saulė: What does it mean to enjoy learning

Saulės’ Speech at the School Year Celebration:

Hello everyone! My name is Saule, and I am currently in my first year of the IB program. A few weeks ago, I was tasked with preparing this speech, and honestly, I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to come up with a groundbreaking story that could captivate every person listening. And that is a very ambitious approach to take, so naturally, no matter how hard I tried, every idea fell short, not quite meeting my own expectations and ticking all the right boxes that I set up for myself. Only much later while practicing one of my many, many, many hypothetical speeches in the mirror, did I realize the reason behind such struggle was simply due to my own self-perception. Up until a year or two ago I was not a “good student”, my approach in school was quite minimal and my achievements reflected that. Learning did not excite me, nor did the effort required to get good results or the self-fulfillment I might’ve had, had I put in the effort.

Acknowledging this major part of my academic journey, I went back to my memories of each presentation, each test, each project, each failure, summer vacation, hoping to pinpoint exactly what revelation made all the difference. But it seemed that the right answer was constantly slipping out of my grasp, never fully materializing. It was only when I was half asleep, one foot out the dream land, that the answer became strikingly simple: I love learning (and knowing). That’s what changed. Previously, I was solely focused on getting through school, absorbing the information given to me without considering their significance of it in the bigger picture.

And then, at some point last year in the midst of my studies I realized that every bit of information we are given in school, or otherwise, makes up our entire world. So obvious, isn’t it? Suddenly learning became a direct pathway to making my life fascinating. Because now, the blossoming of flowers wasn’t just a sign of spring; it was a complex biological process that I not only knew of, but truly understood. A rainbow wasn’t merely pretty; it was a specific optical phenomenon. Every human creation and natural occurrence became more exciting, as I found so much joy in being able to look at something so mundane and simple, but understand the complex processes that shapes it. The world, the universe is massive and with every new discovery it becomes just that much bigger. Because science is just so much bigger than people, bigger than us. It is uncanny that I will not know everything, but I can do my best to learn what truly matters to me. And when you find genuine joy in knowledge and in learning, the result come naturally. Overall, it wasn’t about achieving the “final” goal or the good grades anymore; the learning journey became the most important. And as I said, that made all the difference.

To conclude this speech, I would like to share a quote from William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.

To see a world in a grain of sand,

And heaven in a wildflower.

To hold infinity in the palm of your hand.

And eternity in an hour.”

As the next year unfolds, my wish to each of your is to find excitement in the ordinary aspects of the world. Hold onto those things, learn of those things, and allow knowledge to guide you through a fulfilling school year. Hopefully marked not only by academic achievements, but also by genuine curiosity and engagement. Thank you!

Saulė is one of the gifted students at “Erudito” licėjus who received a scholarship for the two-year period of the International Baccalaureate. From the upcoming academic year “Erudito” licėjus awards this scholarship to ten most talented students. Perhaps you could be one of them? Register, come for an interview, and become one of us!

What are the benefits of the International Baccalaureate for students and how does it differ from a regular learning program can be found by clicking the link: Relevant to students: answers to the 5 most important questions about the International Baccalaureate | Privačios mokyklos – Erudito licėjus – Vilniuje, Kaune

Erudito Licėjus Expands International Baccalaureate Academic Scholarships from the Upcoming Academic Year